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Basic Principles of Fishery Resource Management

Karan Ramteke1*,Harshvardhan Joshi2, Mukesh Bhendarkar3, Renjith R. K.1, Nandkishor Ingole4 ,Vijay S. Hapse1

1 Central Institute of Fisheries Education,Mumbai

2College of Fisheries,Mangalore

3College of Fisheries,Ratnagiri

4College of Fishery Science, Pantanagar

*Corresponding author

Fish and fisheries is an important part of societies, because of its contribution to economic and social health and well being in many countries and areas. Marine living resources are by no means inexhaustible, although some of them are extremely rich. In India, the production of marine fish increased by about 5.5 times in 55 years, from 0.5 million tons in 1948 to 2.7 m t in 2003. To sustain marine fish production, a consistent Fisheries management policy and implementation of management has to be adopted. Fisheries management is a dynamic resource allocation process where ecological, economic and institutional resources of a fisheries exploitation system are distributed with value to the society as the overall goal (Silvestre and Pauly, 1997).

Management is an important part of any development process. Development strategy should incorporate an effective management plan which able to establish the best relationship, suggest that initially when effort increases, the yield also increases, Later increase is slow compared to that of effort, continuous decrease in yield per unit area. Further fishery will progress and reach the maximum yield, until management intervention. It will progress further and reach point where yield is equal to that of cost of fishery. It is the only situation where need of management is required and compensation is given by government in the form of aids and subsidies and makes attempt to continue profitability. When all the possibilities are exhausted the fishery will not reach beyond that point when only running cost like; i.e. cost of crew, fuel is met with no fish yield and government aids (Gulland et. al). Once Fishery arise arising at this stage of decision it's clear that the crisis cannot be solved until the use of strict action. It is easier to control the expansion in early development phase than to reduce exploitation when crisis arises. Marine fisheries in India remained in a pre-developed phase till 1962 (pre-mechanization period; annual production: <0.8 m t) and on a prolonged growth phase till 1988 (mechanization period; increase in the number and efficiency of fishing vessels; annual production: 0.8 to 1.8 m t); this is followed by the fully exploited phase, which lasted for 15 years till 2003 (exploitation of underexploited coastal areas and further increase in effort; annual production: 1.8 to 2.6 m t).

Peruvian anchovy fishery was one of the largest fishery during boom years. In 1953 the first Fish meal was developed. In nine years, Peru became number one Fishing nation of the world. Nearly 1700 Purse seines exploited seven month fishing season. In 1970 sustainable yield was estimated around 9.5 Million tones.

Collapse of Norwegian and Icelandic herring fisheries in 1969, Peru got more cash and allowed to harvest 12.4million tones. In following year 10.5 million tones, In 1972, 10.5 Million tones. In 1972 El-Nino and overfishing for a prolonged period led to collapse. It has never recovered

The development of fishery over the time scale categorized as (Csirke et. al.)

  1. Predevelopment Phase

  2. Growth Phase

  3. Full exploitation phase

  4. Overexploitation Phase

  5. Collapse Phase

  6. Recovery Phase

The Principle of Management of Fishery resources vary according to Phase of Fishery. If fishery is in the Predevelopment Phase it has to promote. When in the growth or fully exploitation phase, fishery should be maintained. If it is in the overexploitation phase, attempt should make to recover the fishery.

Promotion of underdeveloped fishery:

Fisheries has different constituents are usually in various stages of development. Indian fisheries which is mainly operated in less than 50 M depth is in fully exploitation phase, a few specific fishery like myctophid fishes, Oceanic Tuna, deep-sea Prawn, Bulls eye, remain unexploited. The management for the stock should aim at creating proper fishing opportunities; decrease the pressure of most of exploited fisheries. There should be greater focus on investment in the form of fishing gear, vessel which will be best suited for exploiting the identified stock.

Maintenance of Developed fishery:

Strategy for maintenance of developed fishery is different than that of promoting an underdeveloped fishery. Before going to take management action, it is necessary to co collect the information the fish stock and state of fisher folk, which help to decision making procedure, as whether to restrict or promote the fishery. In case of restriction proper methods restriction have to identify and adapt. Throughout the stage views of the stock in the future are more important than its current status. Socioeconomics of the fisher folk have to be given priority at this stage.

Rebuilding of depleted fishery:

For rebuilding of depleted fisheries it is necessary to know the cause of depletion. It may be environmental or fishing. If it is fishing, then corrective steps like a fishing ban or mesh size regulation have to be used. Substitute employment opportunities should be opened up for the fisher folk well before imposing a ban.


Csirke, J. 1984. Report of the Working Group on Fisheries Management Implications and Interactions. FAO Fish. Rep., 291, 67-90.

Devaraj, M. and E. Vivekanandan. 1999. Marine fisheries of India: challenges and opportunities. Curr. Sci., 76, 315-332.

Gulland, J.A. 1972. Some notes on the demersal resources of southeast Asia. Indo-Pacific Fish. Counc., 13, 51-60.

Ramchandran, C. 2004. Teaching Not To F(in)ish!? : A Constructivist Perspective on Reinventing a Responsible Marine Fisheries Extension System.

Silvestre, G. and D. Pauly. 1997. Management of tropical coastal fisheries in Asia: an overview of key challenges and opportunities. In: Status and Management of Tropical Coastal Fisheries in Asia (G. Silvestre and D. Pauly, eds.). ICLARM Conf. Proc., 53, 8-25.

Vivekanandan, E. 2004. Fisheries management techniques In Technical notes for the winter school on Ecosystem based management of marine fisheries held at CMFRI, 2004 (Mohammed,K.S. ed.): 98-109.

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